Mike Trout is about to become the ninth #2 hitter with 100 RBI

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Mike Trout is having another MVP-caliber season and a litany of statistics will tell you that. RBI is somewhere around 15th on the list of statistics that illustrate just how good Trout has been. Trout’s league-leading total of 100 (98 of which have come as a #2 hitter) does provide some historical context, however.

As MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez notes, only eight #2 hitters (including Alex Rodriguez twice) have reached triple digits in RBI. Here’s the list, via Baseball Reference:

Player G Year
Aaron Hill 158 2009
Jay Bell 144 1999
Edgardo Alfonzo 146 1999
Alex Rodriguez 145 1998
Alex Rodriguez 123 1996
Ryne Sandberg 153 1990
Dwight Evans 153 1984
Robin Yount 138 1982
Eddie Mathews 145 1959
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/6/2014.

It makes sense why this doesn’t happen more often: #2 hitters rarely have Trout’s power. Often, they’re high-contact hitters and bunt at a higher rate than anyone else aside from the pitcher in the National League. Even Angels manager Mike Scioscia admits Trout is an atypical #2 hitter. From Gonzalez’s column:

“There’s no doubt this guy’s a multidimensional player. He’s not just a table-setter. I think eventually when he settles into the middle of the lineup and he has [teammates] on-base in front of him, he’ll have the potential to knock in 120 runs.”

Along with the 100 rib-eyes, Trout has a .285/.369/.549 slash line with 31 home runs and 14 stolen bases. While he won’t have to contend with Miguel Cabrera for the AL MVP award this time around, the field is relatively more wide open, as Victor Martinez and Jose Abreu have each put up fantastic numbers themselves. Depending on one’s trust in defensive metrics, Alex Gordon and Josh Donaldson will draw some support as well, among others.

Attempting to complete cycle, Robinson Chirinos thrown out to end game

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With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.

Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.

Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.